The National Labor Relations Board will hear arguments Tuesday to determine the legality of a public school bus strike in the five boroughs, the Daily News reported.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 began striking on Jan. 16 after the city invited companies to bid to take over the 1,100 routes that serve students with disabilities. There is currently no protection for drivers on those routes, who fear they will be unemployed when the new contract takes effect in June.
Bus company owners lodged a complaint with the labor relations board last week, the Daily News reported. If the strike is ruled illegal, Local 1181 drivers could be ordered back to work.
As many as 150,000 school children have been affected by the strike.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the new contracts would save the city more than $95 million over a period of five years and that requiring private contractors to hire the current drivers is barred by a 2011 ruling that determined it would violate the city’s competitive bidding laws.
The union has argued that the 2011 ruling was flawed and accused the mayor’s office of not putting adequate time into negotiations.